AAA 30under30 member Steven Collins discusses his work in live event site, production and operations management. His festival portfolio features prominent projects such as Parklife, The Warehouse Project, Snowbombing, Kendal Calling and bluedot.

What made you want to get involved in the industry and why?

The variety of opportunity within the industry is vast – no two shows and no two days are the same.

What aspect of your role do you find most fulfilling?

Those moments during a show where you see something that reminds you why you take on the stress and the challenge. It can be anything from someone proper dancing to the soundcheck of their favourite artist, to an awesome set or just taking a moment in the arena and taking in the atmosphere.

Is there anyone in the industry who has influenced or inspired you?

I would have to say my colleague, Louise Renn. She took me on when I was 19, and has really put herself out there for me and my career, given the best guidance and instilled the work ethic needed in the industry by leading from the front.

What is the first career highlight that comes to mind?

Catching Slaves [now known as Soft Play] on Kendal Calling main stage as a stage hand. It was the first moment where I fully understood that our job is cool.

How important are schemes such as AAA 30under30 and do you believe the industry does enough to support young professionals?

Schemes, such as AAA 30under30, are great at supporting young professionals in this industry. They consolidate a person’s work into a nice moment of recognition that colleagues and connections, both past and present, notice.

What is your advice for someone who wants to start a career in events?

Go and do some crewing. This will teach you so much about live events, from lighting and audio to heras and ped barrier, and really set you up to be a better and more rounded person in this industry. If you ever want to be in a management position, you need to understand what it takes to get things done and crewing will humble you into making better decisions when your time comes.